American Sociological Association

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  1. Beyond Text: Using Arrays to Represent and Analyze Ethnographic Data

    Recent methodological debates in sociology have focused on how data and analyses might be made more open and accessible, how the process of theorizing and knowledge production might be made more explicit, and how developing means of visualization can help address these issues. In ethnography, where scholars from various traditions do not necessarily share basic epistemological assumptions about the research enterprise with either their quantitative colleagues or one another, these issues are particularly complex.

  2. (No) Harm in Asking: Class, Acquired Cultural Capital, and Academic Engagement at an Elite University

    How do undergraduates engage authority figures in college? Existing explanations predict class-based engagement strategies. Using in-depth interviews with 89 undergraduates at an elite university, I show how undergraduates with disparate precollege experiences differ in their orientations toward and strategies for engaging authority figures in college. Middle-class undergraduates report being at ease in interacting with authority figures and are proactive in doing so. Lower-income undergraduates, however, are split.

  3. Inhabiting Latino Politics: How Colleges Shape Students' Political Styles

    To comply with ideals of multiculturalism and diversity, postsecondary institutions incorporate Latino students into distinct campus cultures. These cultures influence how students interact with one another, the university community at large, and communities outside of campus, ultimately shaping how students inhabit Latino politics. Drawing on data from 20 months of ethnographic fieldwork with six student organizations and 60 in-depth interviews, I compare Latino student organizations in a liberal arts college, a research university, and a regional public university.

  4. Ruptures in the Rainbow Nation: How Desegregated South African Schools Deal with Interpersonal and Structural Racism

    Racially diverse schools are often presented as places where students can learn to challenge racist discourse and practice. Yet there are a variety of processes through which such schools reproduce the very hierarchies they are meant to dismantle. Drawing on 18 months of fieldwork in two racially diverse South African high schools, I add to the literature by analyzing moments that threatened to undermine harmonious race relations. First, I focus on racially charged interpersonal incidents at school.

  5. Race, Immigration, and Exogamy among the Native-born: Variation across Communities

    Did rising immigration levels change racial and ethnic exogamy patterns for young adults in the United States? Adding local demographics to Qian and Lichter’s national results, the authors examine the relationship between the sizes of the local immigrant populations in urban and rural areas and U.S.-born individuals’ exogamy patterns in heterosexual unions, controlling for the areas’ racial compositions.

  6. Poverty and Affluence across the First Two Generations of Voluntary Migration from Africa to the United States, 1990-2012

    The first substantial waves of voluntary migration from Africa arrived in the United States in the last quarter of the twentieth century. The largest number of them hailed from Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and South Africa. Highly select in their educational aspirations and achievements, many of them settled and started families. By 2010, their U.S.-born children had begun to reach adulthood, offering us a first look at intergenerational mobility among voluntary migrants from Africa.

  7. Looking through the Shades: The Effect of Skin Color on Earnings by Region of Birth and Race for Immigrants to the United States

    The purpose of this study is to determine whether a labor market penalty exists for members of immigrant groups as a result of being phenotypically different from white Americans. Specifically, the authors examine the link between skin shade, perhaps the most noticeable phenotypical characteristic, and wages for immigrants from five regions: (1) Europe and Central Asia; (2) China, East Asia, South Asia, and the Pacific; (3) Latin America and the Caribbean; (4) Sub-Saharan Africa; and (5) the Middle East and North Africa.

  8. Student Accountability in Team-based Learning Classes

    Team-based learning (TBL) is a form of small-group learning that assumes stable teams promote accountability. Teamwork promotes communication among members; application exercises promote active learning. Students must prepare for each class; failure to do so harms their team’s performance. Therefore, TBL promotes accountability. As part of the course grade, students assess the performance of their teammates. The evaluation forces students to rank their teammates and to provide rationale for the highest and lowest rankings. These evaluations provide rich data on small-group dynamics.

  9. Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Probability and Nonprobability Moments in Experiment, Interview, Archival, Administrative, and Ethnographic Data Collection

    Sociologists use data from experiments, ethnographies, survey interviews, in-depth interviews, archives, and administrative records. Analysts disagree, however, on whether probability sampling is necessary for each method. To address the issue, the author introduces eight dimensions of data collection, places each method within those dimensions, and uses that resource to assess the necessity and feasibility of probability sampling for each method. The author finds that some methods often seen as unique are not, whereas others’ unique natures are confirmed.
  10. Symbolic Politics of the State: The Case of In-state Tuition Bills for Undocumented Students

    A symbolic politics approach contends that the meanings policy proposals convey, and the audiences they attract, may matter more than whether they become law. Yet, we know little about the sociopolitical conditions prompting lawmakers to engage in symbolic politics.